Outdoor Living

We’ve almost made it through Richmond in July!  Does anyone else seem to block out this part of the year in their minds?  Or is it just me?  Between the heat and the humidity all I want to do is relax on a patio in the shade with an ice cold beverage!  Every day I get to see countless houses on the market that have stunning outdoor spaces and gardens that make me a little envious.  It’s easy to picture yourself in the already-completed impeccable backyard retreat… But it’s by far more difficult (and nerve wracking) when you have to undertake the transformation on your own yard. So, instead of being intimidated by the perfection, I let it inspire me to give my own backyard a little makeover — to make it feel like it was an extension of my home — and turn it into an “outdoor living space” instead of just a “backyard.”

beautiful backyard patio with hanging plants and fairy lights above seating
I feel relaxed just looking at this, don’t you?

I started doing a little research and quickly realized that a transformation doesn’t have to be too costly to be luxurious!  Simple things can make all the difference.  For instance:

  • Pick up a fun outdoor rug to cover your patio space without doing a big renovation
  • Hang a few strings of outdoor lights and drape them around to get festive mood lighting or to accentuate a fun feature at night
  • Get yourself a fire pit to cozy up by on chilly evenings or gather around for s’mores after dinner
  • Grilling outdoors is a summertime meal  staple – there are plenty of grills to fit every budget, size, and style
  • Landscaping with colorful flowers, bushes, and fresh mulch is a simple way to transform your whole house, not just your yard
  • Furniture, furniture furniture….

This is where I got a little stuck.  Outdoor furniture is somewhat of a large purchase.  It can make a big impact on your space, so you want it to stay as nice as possible for as long as possible.  To be versatile enough to stay classic if you decide to redecorate down the road, but also to be comfortable and inviting without having it break your bank. So, what do you do…. Ask a friend? Check reviews? Spend hours in stores sitting in chairs and comparing deals?

Let me be that friend, let me show you those deals. I hope I can save you some review-reading, chair-testing, number-crunching time.   Below are some of my favorite outdoor living stores to help make your backyard dreams come true —

McKinnon and Harris

Family owned and founded in 1991, nothing but the highest quality materials have been used to create every distinguishable piece of their legendary, high performance aluminum outdoor furniture for estate, garden, and yacht.  Handcrafted without compromise in Richmond, Virginia. | 1722 Arlington Road, RVA 23230

Summer Classics

Extend your unique style from your home into your outdoor space.  With the finest quality outdoor furniture of cast aluminum, wrought iron, teak, hand woven N-dura wicker, stainless steel, superstore, and exclusive fabrics, Summer Classics has all the latest outdoor essentials to make your space stand out. | 7905 West Broad Street, RVA 23294

Plow & Hearth

What started out in 1980 as a small country store in Madison, Virginia has now grown into the company we trust and return to throughout the years.  A wide variety of products like tools, decorative accents, fireplaces, feeders, furniture, and landscaping details are available to fit any type of outdoor space, from your smallest gardens to your largest backyards. | 11639 West Broad Street, RVA 23233


Believe it or not, your neighborhood hardware store has just about everything you need to upgrade your outdoors this summer.  From grills and gazebos to play sets and pools, it never hurts to stop in and check out their options.  You might even find the right inspiration, tools, and tricks for your next home improvement project. | 1640 West Broad Street, RVA 23220

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